Gary Simms Victorious in GT5 Challenge Opener

by James Broomhead
Simms secured both of the poles on offer from the session (Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

Gary Simms led from lights to flag to score victory in the first Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge race of the season.

He was helped to the win by an early safety car that limited the race to just seven laps, though even then he has to soak up pressure applied by Ollie Chadwick in the closing laps.

Simms led away from the line, with George Gamble moving into second from the outside of the front row ahead of Mark Davies and Chadwick who exchanged positions through the opening corners with Davies taking third place. But, while the front group were clear an accident broke out at Cascades in the midfield.

Before the end of the first lap Ben Hyland, G20 class polesitter Stuart Pearson and Rob Keogh would all be knocked out of the race, Pearson’s car getting the worst of the damage doled out in the incident. Two laps behind the safety car followed, Brian Murphy picking up the G20 lead as Alex Preston – who started second in the class – was among those delayed in the opening corners.

Four laps in Chadwick passed Davies for third place and the following lap mounted a challenge for second against Gamble at Old Hall.

Chadwick took the place, Davies following through into third as Gamble’s line was compromised. Gamble was, however, able to retake the final podium position on the final lap, Stewart Linn further demoting Davies to fifth place. Swede Dennis Strandberg finished sixth, Dane Frederick Mortensen seventh and Nick Zapolski – Simm’s teammate at Buddy Racing – eighth.

Brian Murphy won the G20 class, finishing 16th overall.

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